Join Gary at the Highland Flats Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony!

Come to Idaho for distillery tours, the ribbon-cutting ceremony, dinner, and an introductory meeting with YL Founder D. Gary Young.

Come to Idaho for distillery tours, the ribbon-cutting ceremony, dinner, and an introductory meeting with YL Founder D. Gary Young.

We are thrilled to announce that the agenda for the free ribbon-cutting event at the new Highland Flats distillery will now include an Introductory Meeting given by D. Gary Young! 

See the new agenda below:

2-4 p.m.      Distillery Tours

4:30 p.m.     Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

5 p.m.         Dinner

7-9 p.m.      Introductory Meeting by D. Gary Young 

We look forward to seeing you there!  

The Largest True Lavender Grower in the World!

After the historical merger of three major French lavender farms, Gary hosted his partners at St. Maries Idaho. Left to right, Benoît Cassan,  Jean-Noël Landel,  Gary Young, and Jean-Marie Blanc.

After the historical merger of three major French lavender farms, Gary hosted his partners at St. Maries Idaho. Left to right, Benoît Cassan, Jean-Noël Landel, Gary Young, and Jean-Marie Blanc.

First, I want to share with you all that last January, four people came together in a merger, joining three lavender farms. Jean-Noel Landel and me, Benoit Cassan, and Jean-Marie Blanc. This merger makes Young Living the largest grower of true lavender in the world today!

Here is what my partner in France, Jean-Noel Landel, said during the 2013 Convention:

Jean-Noel: Hello, everybody. I want to go back years ago when I first met Gary. Everything he’s telling you right now, he was already speaking about 23 years ago. He already had the belief that we needed very high-quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils when nobody even knew what essential oils were. This is a true belief that has never changed for 23 years. And 23 years ago, everybody was laughing at this guy. They just didn’t understand what he was saying about essential oils for emotional feelings. Nobody knew about aromatherapy at that time. There were no aromatherapy businesses. 

And this guy, when he first came to speak with us, we thought he was from another planet. What is he talking about? At the best, people were just kind of smiling at him and thinking, “Nice guy, yeah, yeah. Go back home.” That’s why I really feel strongly about all this. I brought Benoit Cassan with me; he’s the president of the largest research center on lavender farming in the world. He came to the U.S. for the third time because he knows he learns something from Gary every time. And Benoit’s father, president of the French Lavender Growers Association for a number of years, learned things from Gary 23 years ago. 

That makes this company unique, based on the belief that essential oils have a very strong quality, not just for physical purposes like the French aromatherapy doctors thought. Not just that, but also on emotional levels and spiritual levels. It has been Gary’s teaching for 23 years now; he’s never changed that. And he knew he had to take big actions as he has been doing, spending millions of dollars farming, distilling, and researching to the point where nobody else can do the same.

I feel very proud that Gary accepted me as a partner and not just his employee. As a partner, it’s a very high honor for me. And I am very happy to let you know that you have the strongest, deepest roots in this company than any other company that is marketing essential oils now because it’s a “new fad.” It wasn’t new 23 years ago! Essential oils became known, thanks to Gary. We have to stick together as a company, as a family, to continue to make it grow!

The Beauty of True Lavender

Jean-Noel Landel (in the dark blue t-shirt) shows Young Living members the finer points of wildcrafting the wild lavender plants on the hillside in France.

Jean-Noel Landel (in the dark blue t-shirt) shows Young Living members the finer points of wildcrafting in France.

In the first photo you see Jean-Noel Landel, my partner in France, who took our distributors on the mountain wildcrafting in France. This is wild lavender. It consists of little tiny plants. Now, do you want oil from that or would you rather have oil from our farms?

If we look at this, France would have to be 20 times bigger growing wild lavender in order to produce enough lavender for Young Living alone. Actually, it would be impossible. Wild lavender plants are very, very short. They’re also very, very tiny. They have small spikes and smaller flowers. The little bit of oil they produce is beautiful, but it’s unrealistic to think wild lavender could be counted on to provide enough lavender oil to meet customer demand. 

Next is the photo of a harvester I imported from France. That’s Eldon Knittle helping me cut lavender on the farm in Mona, Utah. That is also where we have greenhouses to grow the lavender starts. We grow an average of anywhere from one to three million plants every winter.

You are welcome to come visit the farm and see the operation for yourself.

We are growing true lavender at the Young Living Farm. Good nutrition grows beautiful plants! Drive by and look at one of our lavender fields. See all the different colors. The pictures don’t do justice to it. True lavender has many shades of color, everything from white to deep, deep violet purple. Varying colors are found only in true lavender. If you have lavender hybrids, the flowers are all the same color. It’s like taking a picture of a kid and making millions of photocopies of him. 

Gary and Eldon Knittle Harvest True Lavender.

Gary and Eldon Knittle Harvest True Lavender.

High Altitude Peppermint

This is one of our 60-acre peppermint fields. Traditionally, above the 45th parallel and at 2,500 feet, peppermint is cut when it’s 60 percent in bloom. The Young Living Farm is below the 45th parallel and just under 5,000 feet, so we cut post-bloom (after the plants have blossomed).

This is one of our 60-acre peppermint fields. Traditionally, above the 45th parallel and at 2,500 feet, peppermint is cut when it’s 60 percent in bloom. The Young Living Farm is below the 45th parallel and just under 5,000 feet, so we cut post-bloom (after the plants have blossomed).

We have two 60-acre peppermint fields in Mona, Utah. At this farm, there is another thing that I’ve done that’s very interesting that has to do with elevation.

Looking at constituent lists, you will see the minimum and maximum ranges that we use that are basically at our standard ranges.

I started distilling this peppermint on August 12, 2012, and took sample after sample, all the way from when we started until September 22, pulling samples of distilled peppermint to get to the point to where our distilling method resulted in a higher menthol level. We have the finest quality peppermint oil in the world today, without question.

At what range do the peppermint companies want the menthol in peppermint oil? They want it over 45 percent. Menthol is where the money’s at, if you’re selling it. What does menthol do? Menthol is the penetrating compound; it’s the one that drives it. It is the personifier of peppermint because it’s what makes everything else work. And how do we know this? We only know this by distilling it every single day for four solid weeks. Why? Because as far as we know, peppermint oil has never before been grown in the United States above 4,500 feet elevation, and at Mona, we are at 4,970 feet.

In Idaho there’s a grower who grows peppermint at 4,200 or 4,300 feet. However, he never distills it. I visited him and asked him, “Why?”

He said, “Because I can’t produce menthol at this elevation.” 

I said, “Of course you can.” 

He replied, “No, I can’t. I’ve tried it.” So he grows peppermint and just sells the roots to the growers. He doesn’t know what he can do because he never did the testing to find out.

Worldwide Farming for Young Living

Gary teaches a woman in Madagascar the correct procedures for distilling vetiver essential oil.

Gary teaches a woman in Madagascar the correct procedures for distilling vetiver essential oil.

Getting back to our Farm Blog, you know we have a lot of people who wildcraft for us. You may not be aware of this, but we provide a living for over 2,000 people in Peru and Ecuador (at the farm, our people in the mountains, and our people in the jungle). 

We’ve talked about our distillery in Ecuador and how we have the plants lying on the floor under the roof shade-drying. We test the Brix every two hours. Then they take a batch down, put it in the small 150‑liter still, and distill it. Then that oil goes upstairs to the lab, and we analyze it. So we have a complete record of what those plants are doing every two hours during the 12 hours of daylight. 

This is a photo of when I was in Madagascar teaching the people where this lady in red had just built a bush distiller for distilling vetiver. They were getting ready to distill it, and they didn’t really know what they were doing. They didn’t know how to distill it, they didn’t know how to compact the plants. But the worst part was that she had built this distillery and put a valve on the swan neck to close it. I said to her, “What’s this?”

She said, “It’s a valve to close it.”

I asked, “Why?”

And she said, “Well, I was told I have to have pressure in the still in order to get the oil out.”

I told her, “You are so lucky that I’m here.” If she had fired up that distiller and it had built to 1 pound of pressure, it would have gone off like a bomb. Anybody within the proximity of that building would have likely been killed.

This photo shows that we took the lid off and unpacked the chamber. I taught them how to separate the roots, to chop them, put them in the chamber, and compress them right. We took the valve out and now she’s producing vetiver oil.